Doctor of Philosophy in Ethical Leadership (Ph.D.): Criminal Justice Specialization


The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Ethical Leadership with a Specialization in Criminal Justice provides a foundation of integrated theory and practice grounded in criminal justice, history of crime and punishment, current issues in criminal justice, and approaches to change and leadership within the criminal justice system. The courses advance leadership attitudes, behaviors, and administrative practice within criminal justice spaces, included but not limited to service to underrepresented and under-resourced communities, policy revision, development, and evaluation, equality in law enforcement, application of law, and corrections management. The program leverages the Ph.D. in Ethical Leadership to develop leaders in the criminal justice system prepared for leading a more just and egalitarian criminal justice system and the institutions, organizations, and communities that support it.

Graduates are prepared for administration positions in criminal justice, in addition to faculty positions in criminal justice serving undergraduate and graduate populations. Graduates will also develop applicable capacities and competence that will aid them in successful law enforcement, legal, and correction positions. With an emphasis in ethical leadership, graduates are prepared to drive equitable change in the criminal justice system, facilitate criminology learning in formal and informal settings, conduct research, and share critical knowledge with organizations and communities.


Career Landscape

  • Executives, managers, directors, and supervisors in law enforcement agencies
  • Directors and managers for non-profit organizations, management consultants, planners, and policy advisors
  • Corporate Instructional Leader
  • Corporate Training Director
  • Executives and directors in government agencies


Program Highlights

  • Maximum Accessibility – Eight-week courses with an intensive residency that provides professional networking opportunities
  • Economic Benefit – An affordable price point well below our national competitors provides quality without financial burden
  • Pace of the Program – Full-time working professionals can complete the program in as little as three (3) calendar years
  • Rolling Admissions – Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis for to ensure for convenience of start date
  • Ease of Application – A personalized admissions advisor is provided to every prospective student ensuring consistent and timely communication, while not requiring a standardized test (e.g., GRE, GMAT, etc.) to create ease for the applicant
  • Transfer Credits Accepted – Up to 18 credits beyond a master’s degree may be accepted accelerating program completion



Tuition per Credit Hour Technology Fee per Course Program Tuition
Tuition $720 $100 $44,000


Start Terms

The Doctor of Philosophy in Ethical Leadership with a Specialization in Criminal Justice offers six start terms throughout the year. Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions to learn more (see contact information below).

Admissions Process

Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Ethical Leadership with a Specialization in Criminal Justice program requires each prospective student to submit the following materials for evaluation:

  • A completed and signed university Application for Admission
  • Official accredited college and/or university baccalaureate and master’s transcripts
  • Personal statement describing applicant’s professional goals and why the degree is important to achieve those goals
  • Professional resume
  • Two letters of recommendation or recommendation forms

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  • Analyzing historical, current, and future trends in criminal justice to inform scholarship and practice
  • Critiquing the cultures and scholarship of the criminal justice system and provide the resulting application within formal and informal learning spaces
  • Developing equitable programs, learning interventions, and policies that reflect diverse learner populations and with relation to the criminal justice system
  • Analyzing organizational and administrative functions within the criminal justice system and its systems in order to practice ethical leadership and change
  • Applying ethical leadership in governance, policy, and finance that reflect the needs of criminal justice learners, institutions, and society
  • Conducting program assessment and evaluation as equitable and ethical scholars and practitioners


The Ph.D. program requires 60 credits of doctoral coursework beyond the master’s degree.

Doctor of Philosophy in Ethical Leadership with a Specialization in Criminal Justice Requirements – 60 Credits (Each course is 3 credits)

Core Leadership Courses– 21 Credits

  • DEL 801 Interpersonal Leadership
  • DEL 802 Moral Imagination & Decision-Making
  • DEL 805 Leadership in Action
  • ELI 801 Theory and Practice of Leadership
  • ELI 805 Strategic Leadership & Globalization
  • ELI 809 Innovation & Leadership
  • ELI 807 Ethics & Governance

Specialization Courses – 15 Credits

  • CJA 810 Theories of Crime
  • CJA 815 Globalization & Crime
  • CJA 817 Criminal Law & Society
  • CJA 818 Counsel Victims/Offenders
  • CJA 820 Restorative Justice
  • ELI 999 Special Topics

Research Courses – 12 Credits

  • DEL 804 Assessment & Evaluation
  • RES 819 Research Methods
  • RES 820 Quantitative Research
  • RES 821 Qualitative Research

Doctoral Dissertation Courses – 12 Credits

  • DIS 900 Doctoral Research Proposal
  • DIS 901 Doctoral Research I
  • DIS 902 Doctoral Research II
  • DIS 903 Doctoral Research III
  • DIS 904 Doctoral Continuation (if needed)


Residency Requirements

Residency Conference: The residency conference provides an opportunity for students, community leaders, industry professionals, policymakers, and university administration and faculty to participate in structured face-to-face workshop style sessions facilitated at St. Thomas University over a multi-day period. These sessions create added depth, collaboration, and community creating the foundation for an enhanced educational experience.


Graduation Requirements

Candidates must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 to remain in academic good standing and must complete all required courses with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 to graduate. Candidates must successfully complete and defend their doctoral research requirements.


Additional Information

Information relating to the program and courses is available by contacting the Ph.D. in Ethical Leadership Program Director. All graduate admissions inquiries should be sent to our Office of Graduate Admissions (information listed below).



Office of Graduate Admissions
Call or Text: 305-563-8792